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August 3, 2011

VMware revamps vSphere 5 licensing again

Filed under: Virtualization — Tags: , — Nate @ 5:40 pm

I guess someone over there high up was listening, nice to see the community had some kind of impact, VMware has adjusted their policies to some degree, far from perfect, but more bearable than the original plan.

The conspiracy theorist makes me think VMware put bogus numbers out there to begin with, never having any intension of following through with them to gauge the reaction, and then adjusted them to what they probably originally would of offered and try to make people think like they “won” by getting VMware to reduce the impact to some degree.

vSphere Enterprise List Pricing comparison (w/o support)

# of SocketsRAMvSphere 4 EnterprisevSphere 5
vSphere 5
Cost increase over vSphere 4
2256GB2 Licenses - $5,7508 Licenses - $23,0004 Licenses - $11,500100%
4512GBN/A16 Licenses - $46,0008 Licenses - $23,000N/A
81024GBN/A32 Licenses - $92,00016 Licenses - $46,000N/A

vSphere Enterprise+ List Pricing comparison (w/o support)

# of SocketsRAMvSphere 4 Enterprise+vSphere 5 Enterprise+
vSphere 5 Enterprise+
Cost increase over vSphere 4
2256GB2 Licenses - $6,9905 Licenses (240GB) - $17,4753 Licenses (288GB) - $10,48550% higher
4512GB4 Licenses - $13,98011 Licenses (528GB) - $38,4455 Licenses (480GB) - $17,47525% higher
81024GB8 Licenses - $27,96021 Licenses(1008GB) - $73,995
11 Licenses (1056GB) - $38,44537% higher

There were other changes too, see the official VMware blog post above for the details. They quadrupled the amount of vRAM available for the free ESXi to 32GB which I still think is not enough, should be, say at least 128GB.

Also of course they are pooling their licenses so the numbers fudge out a bit more depending on the # of hosts and stuff.

One of the bigger changes is VMs larger than 96GB will not need more than 1 license. Though I can’t imagine there are many 96GB VMs out there… even with 1 license if I wanted several hundred gigs of ram for a system I would put in on real hardware, get more cpu cores to boot (not unlikely you have 48-64+ cores of cpu for such a system, which is far beyond where vSphere 5 can scale to for a single VM).

I did some rounding in the price estimates, because the numbers are not divisible cleanly by the amount of ram specified.

It seems VMware has effectively priced their “Enterprise” product out of the market if you have any more than a trivial amount of memory. vSphere 4 Enterprise was, of course limited to 256GB of ram, but look at the cost of that compared to the new stuff, pretty staggering.

Quad socket 512GB looks like the best bet on these configurations anyways.

I still would like to see pricing based more on features than on hardware.  E.g. give me vSphere standard edition with 96GB per CPU of vRAM licensing, because a lot of those things in Enteprise+ I don’t need (some are nice to have but very few are critical for most people I believe). As-is users are forced into the higher tiers due to the arbitrary limits set on the licensing, not as bad as the original vSphere 5 pricing but still pretty bad for some users when compared to vSphere 4.

Or give me free ESXi with the ability to individually license software features such as vMotion etc on top of it on a per-socket basis or something.

I think the licensing scheme needs more work. VMware could also do their customers a favor by communicating how this will change in the future, as bigger and bigger machines come out it’s logical to think the memory limits would be increased over time.

The biggest flaw in the licensing scheme remains it measures based on what is provisioned, rather than what is used. There is no excuse for this from VMware since they own the hypervisor and have all the data.

Billing based on provision vs usage is the biggest scam in this whole cloud era.


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